With recovery mode well underway, businesses are keen to secure their place at the forthcoming Business Innovation South Expo in September.
BIS Expo 2021 will take place on 15 September at the Hilton Hotel near the Ageas Bowl, and it will be a showcase for established southern-based businesses from within the science, technology, engineering and innovation sectors as well as aligned service providers.
The business woman behind the event is Lara Bull (pictured) and she is delighted with the uptake so far: “We have 24 returning exhibitors and seven of them have signed up as sponsors. It has been a rollercoaster year but the overwhelming sense of buoyancy and optimism when we speak to companies now is palpable – and one thing businesses are saying is that they want to get back to face-to-face events, that it's time. So far, 44 stands have been booked and we are on the cusp of securing two new sectors. The response has been really positive and shows there is an appetite from business for this event which showcases innovation and expertise in our region.
“A dedicated Expo App has also been designed to help all exhibitors and visitors to register, manage their time, book meetings, manage connections/leads, connect, request info and advertise in the safest possible way,” she said.
Headline sponsor Colva Tech who provide business IT support without the jargon are: “super excited for this year’s event”.
“Finally, we can meet with businesses face-to-face and have a proper no-nonsense chat about their IT,” said director, Craig Nixon.
James Ford is the business engagement and growth hub manager at the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and he believes that events like #BIS2021 will help boost business confidence in the region. He said: “As the economic recovery in the Solent gets underway, it is important that businesses are given opportunities to access business support for the different challenges and opportunities that they face. We are delighted to be part of #BIS2021, as it is key for business leaders to be able to come together once more to share ideas and conduct business. This is one in a whole range of support on offer to Solent-based businesses from the LEP and partners, that will stimulate advancement from recovery to business growth."
The University of Southampton is open for business, its specialist enterprise units, cutting-edge research, and high calibre students can support businesses innovate, adapt and grow. Business engagement manager, Kerrie Graham, explained: “We are keen to explore how we can work with businesses to support their development. Collaborating with our world leading expertise and state-of-the-art facilities can help solve your most complex problems.”
Clare Lassiter, senior HR consultant at Pure Human Resources, said: “It will be our second year at #BIS2021 and we are looking forward to engaging with business leaders to see how we can support them as the economy moves on from the challenges posed by the pandemic.”
Chris White, head of cyber and innovation at The Cyber Resilience Centre for the South East, said: “The timing for #BIS2021 could not be better and we are looking forward to once more engaging with businesses and helping them to tackle any cyber issues they may be facing.”
Sam Strover, MD at Vostron explained: “These last 18 months of change have had a dramatic effect on the way we work – and the way we will work in the future. I’m so looking forward to engaging face to face with local business, to share learnings and strengthen our community.”
Hampshire Chamber of Commerce said it was delighted to take part in the Business Innovation South Expo, helping unite the business communities after such a difficult year.
And Martin White, director at Thinkers Ltd added: “Personal contact is a huge part of our business life. Being able to meet up safely once more is an important milestone. We have missed meeting people face to face, and #BIS2021 will help to remedy that.”
Netshell operations manager, Danielle Stevenson, has been leading the team developing the app for the event. She said: “This will be our second year attending #BIS2021 and we are excited to be able to safely meet with business leaders across Hampshire. 2021 has been a fantastically busy year for us and we have been working with many new clients and partners bringing their business ideas to life digitally. We're really looking forward to showcasing some of the software projects we have delivered this year as well as speaking to attendees about their businesses and how we might apply technology to help them overcome challenges they may be facing."
Craig Ormerod, business development director at TÜV SÜD product service division in the UK, said: “We found the last Expo a great opportunity to engage with local business, and we are looking forward to doing the same at this year’s Expo. We are bringing along a team of product compliance experts to the event to have those face-to-face discussions we have missed over the past 18 months."
Regional sales manager for The Business Magazine, Alan Lindstrom, said: “As the leading independent voice of business in the South East, The Business Magazine is looking forward to rub (socially distanced) shoulders with the business leaders who continue to drive the economy in our region across science and technology, engineering and business innovation. #BIS2021 looks set to be another great success for organiser Lara Bull, and I am excited to be a part of it in September.”